Welfare considerations: Salivary cortisol concentrations on frequency of therapy dog visits in an outpatient hospital setting: A pilot study

The animal-assisted therapy field is exponentially growing under the lack of science-based evidence of potential risks to the animals involved. Even though to become a therapy dog, the dog must pass an evaluation, most evaluations do not take into account disposition. Thus, a dog could become certified as a therapy dog but still become uncomfortable […]

Noninvasive monitoring of adrenocortical activity in carnivores by fecal glucocorticoid analyses

Measurement of glucocorticoid metabolites in feces has become an accepted method for the noninvasive evaluation of adrenocortical activity. The objective of this study was to determine if a simple cortisol enzyme immunoassay (EIA) was suitable for monitoring adrenocortical activity in a variety of carnivore species. Performance of the cortisol EIA was gauged by comparison to […]

Comparison Between Plasma Substance P and Cortisol Concentrations Following Castration in Beef Calves


How should the psychological well-being of zoo elephants be objectively investigated?

Animal welfare (sometimes termed ‘‘well-being’’) is about feelings – states such as ‘‘suffering’’ or ‘‘contentment’’ that we can infer but cannot measure directly. Welfare indices have been developed from two main sources: studies of suffering humans, and of research animals deliberately subjected to challenges known to affect emotional state. We briefly review the resulting indices […]

Stereotypic swaying and serum cortisol concentrations in three captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

The behaviour and serum cortisol concentrations of three captive female African elephants (Loxodonta africana) were studied to determine whether their stereotypic swaying was more prevalent before regularly scheduled events in the elephants’ routine, and whether the elephants that exhibited more stereotyped swaying had lower mean serum cortisol concentrations. Behavioural data were collected during hour-long observations […]

The effects of transport stress on tiger physiology and behavior

Tigers are often transported for education, conservation, and zoo enhancement purposes, however the effect of transfer on them has not yet been documented. Our objective was to evaluate how transport affects the behavior and physiology of tigers, taking into account previous experience with the transport procedure. We simulated transport by relocating five tigers in a […]

Non-invasive measurement of 11-ketotestosterone, cortisol and androstenedione in male three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus)

The androgen 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) plays an important role in reproductive physiology and behaviour in male teleosts. In the three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, the plasma concentrations of 11-KT are related to the breeding status of the fish. Sticklebacks are relatively small (generally less than 1 g) and in order to obtain sufficient plasma for assay of […]

Urinary corticosteroid excretion patterns in the okapi (Okapia johnstoni)

Stress is known to alter a variety of biological processes, including behavior and reproduction. It is therefore important to understand the stress levels of animals in captivity, especially those for whom captive breeding is a priority, such as the okapi. Levels of stress hormones can be measured from samples collected noninvasively, such as urine or […]

A study of cortisol and beta-endorphin levels in stereotypic and normal Thoroughbreds

In recent studies of equine stereotypic behaviour, data on levels of cortisol and beta-endorphin (BE) have been limited and sometimes contradictory. The current research aimed to investigate, in a large number of horses, the relationships between these compounds and equine stereotypic behaviour. Plasma and salivary cortisol levels were measured in stereotypic (n=46) and normal horses […]

Urinary cortisol responses to unusual events in captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

This study investigated the urinary cortisol stress response to one known stressor (anaesthesia) and three unusual events hypothesized to result in increases in cortisol (confinement to one half of an enclosure for several days due to a hurricane, an enrichment exercise, and a change in group composition) in young chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Although a cortisol […]